A Black Entrepreneur Vs. Businessman: An Interview with Angela Lee
On a recent episode of “Entrepreneurs Roundtable,” Black Entrepreneurs CEO Angela Lee sat down with Entrepreneur vs Businessman to talk about how she’s used her Black entrepreneurial experience to help Black women start their own businesses and get paid more.
Lee shared that she was raised in a predominantly White, middle class family, which she credits with her early entrepreneurial spirit and belief in the power of hard work and self-reliance.
Lee says that she also learned that her parents struggled financially, and she grew up believing in a “do-it-yourself” approach to life, which led her to take her entrepreneurial training at the University of California at Berkeley.
Lee says that when she was just 12, she received a call from her mother asking her to come to New York to meet her and take part in a Black Entrepreneury Roundtable (BERS) mentorship program.
When she arrived in New York, Lee says she met with other Black women entrepreneurs who had similar mentors and mentoring experiences and shared what she learned about business and entrepreneurship.
Lee also shared that while she initially didn’t think she was ready for entrepreneurship, her passion for entrepreneurship and the opportunity to help others soon developed into a passion for mentorship and mentorship-driven companies.
Lee explains that her mentors, who are also Black, are often hesitant to take the time to mentor her because of the fear that she might be perceived as being too “hip.”
Lee says this perception is a “perception problem” that often hinders Black entrepreneurs who don’t have access to traditional mentors, such as women of color.
Lee said that her BERS mentors are typically white, and her business is also centered on helping women and women of all backgrounds, including those of color, succeed in the industry.
Lee believes that the BERS program is an invaluable opportunity for Black entrepreneurs, especially those who don.t have access or have experienced other mentorship programs.
Lee shares that the program is also geared toward Black women, who may be more likely to feel that their peers or mentors don’t want to mentor them because of their race.
Lee explained that while BERS is designed to help young Black women learn about business, it also offers a platform for women of other races and backgrounds to connect with Black women and help them pursue their own entrepreneurial opportunities.
The program also gives Black women mentors opportunities to interact and share their stories and ideas, including on social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest and Tumblr.
Lee continues to be excited about BERS, and is excited to see how Black women can get involved in the program.
She hopes that Black women will be able to learn from other Black entrepreneurs and mentors, and use this opportunity to become more connected with other women and other backgrounds.